Link: Can We Make Ourselves Happier?

Sure can. Few surprises in this article (even in the “surprising findings” section), but maybe a few things to comment on:

“In order to lead a happy life, a rewarding life, you need to be active,” says Veenhoven. “So involvement is more important to happiness than knowing the why, why we are here.”

Good to highlight this every now and then when talking so much about idleness: Most idlers I know are actually quite active. They just aren’t necessarily active in the way society prescribes. The idler’s ideal is to sovereignly decide upon the things he does, all while retaining enough time to simply do nothing (or enjoy life).

Supporting this argument is an anecdote from the same article. It explains how a pensioneer felt happier after consciously seeking more activities that pleased her, opposed to merely doing the things she was expected to do (like the never-ending household chores):

“You can make everything clean and tomorrow it’s dirty again, so why do it? Or don’t do it too often. I like to read. So now I just pick up a book I want to read and leave all the other things.”

One last quote from the piece:

People who drink in moderation are happier than people who don’t drink at all.

Just as above, no suprise here. While – at least in Germany – the soft drink world seems to be catching up a bit,1 most of the finest cold beverages ever created contain alcohol. Enjoying these in good company certainly raises the spirit (and occasionally leads to interesting stories, too). For starters, I’d recommend a glass of Zacapa 23 after a good meal.

  1. In case it’s different where you live, a growing market is emerging here for artisanal/alternative soft drinks, often based on organic or uncommon ingredients; some even manage to significantly reduce the use of sugar (or high fructose corn syrup). Much better than Coca-Cola. []